Making home-made pizza is much easier than you think. Don’t spend a lot of money on takeaways that usually arrive cold. Instead, enjoy a piping-hot straight-from-the-oven pizza! When you make it yourself, you usually end up with food that really delivers!
The Pizza Base
First you’ll need to start with the dough and, of course, the delicious sauce that will form the foundation of your pizza:
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ cups water
- Whisk the flour in a medium to large bowl. Remember to add in your yeast, salt and water. Then you’ll need to mix it well, preferably with a wooden spoon (i.e. by hand).
- Once well-mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap in order to allow the dough to rise at room temperature. Leave this for up to 18 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
- Now you can separate the dough into four equal parts and begin to shape them into round bases. Drape the dough over lightly clenched knuckles a few centimetres from the edge. Move the dough from hand to hand as you rotate it. When it is 30cm wide, carefully move the dough over to a lightly floured pizza peel or a thin plastic cutting board.
- 400g whole peeled tomatoes
- 150ml tomato purée
- 1 garlic clove
- 5ml Oreganum
Traditionally you want to have a delicious tomato base to your pizza. To make this, you’ll need to chop the peeled tomatoes and add them to a warm pan with the tomato purée, chopped garlic glove, and oreganum. Cover the pan and slowly bring to the boil. Then you can turn down the heat, remove the lid and simmer until reduced. Then season to taste and spread onto your base.
The Pizza Toppings
Now comes the fun part, compiling your toppings. This is what will make the pizza uniquely yours. Here are some tips for hitting the sweet spot, no matter what your personal preferences are:
- As pizzas with relatively thin crusts tend to bake incredibly quickly (8-9 minutes in a usual kitchen oven), you need to keep this cooking time in mind when choosing your toppings. Make sure that your veggies and cured meats are sliced nice and thin. This will also help with caramelisation and additional flavour.
- For pizza slices that are easy to pick up you’ll need to exercise restraint and ensure that you sprinkle ingredients sparsely. Also make sure that distribute them evenly across your base for a little bit of everything with each slice.
- When it comes to choosing protein, not all meat needs to necessarily be cooked. You can even add things like salami, prosciutto or Parma ham once the pizza is done. Another idea is to make a spicy mince as a topping by frying it with lots of chilli and adding it to your base. For a truly South African spin consider biltong on your pizza!
- Local ingredients like peppadews are delicious as toppings, as well as options like hearty black mushrooms, garlic, green and red peppers, onions, feta, brie and even leafy options like spinach, fresh rocket or Roquefort.
- There’s nothing wrong with mixing adventurous flavours. One of South Africa’s favourite pizzas consists of Indian butter chicken, fior di latte mozzarella, yoghurt, fresh coriander and crispy onions!
- Add herbs to your pizza once it emerges from the oven, particularly basil, parsley, tarragon or even sage. Also consider a sprinkling of olive oil or chilli oil for additional fresh flavour.
Serve hot and enjoy!